Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What if you were given one more day?

Brain-injured firefighter's brief awakening recounted

In 1995 Donny Herbert, a firefighter, was injured when a roof collapsed during a fire, robbing his brain of oxygen. For a decade he lay in a bed with minimal brain function. And then, one day, he woke up, talking non-stop. His doctor had used a combination of drugs used to treat Parkinson's, depression, and ADHD to try to stimulate his brain. His three oldest boys had grown to adulthood in his absence. His youngest had grown from toddler to teenager and could sit down and talk to his father in-depth for the first time.

The following days were nowhere near as prolific, but were full of hope. And then Herbert fell and his brain suffered bleeding, and he lapsed back into the state he had been in, finally succumbing to pneumonia and high fever in 2006.

Now a book chronicles their story. It is a bittersweet story, of course. But that one day gave them closure and hope. What would you do if you were given one more day with a loved one you'd thought you'd lost forever?

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